Jonah 4:6
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6  Hashem provided a ricinus plant, which grew up over Yona, to provide shade for his head and save him from discomfort. Yona was very happy about the plant.

vai-MAN a-do-nai e-lo-HEEM kee-ka-YON va-YA-al may-AL l’-yo-NAH lih-YOT TZAYL al ro-SHO l’-ha-TZEEL LO may-ra-a-TO va-yis-MAKH yo-NAH al ha-kee-ka-YON sim-KHAH g’-do-LAH

ו  וַיְמַן יְהֹוָה־אֱלֹהִים קִיקָיוֹן וַיַּעַל מֵעַל לְיוֹנָה לִהְיוֹת צֵל עַל־רֹאשׁוֹ לְהַצִּיל לוֹ מֵרָעָתוֹ וַיִּשְׂמַח יוֹנָה עַל־הַקִּיקָיוֹן שִׂמְחָה גְדוֹלָה׃

 4:6 Hashem provided a ricinus plant

Castor oil plant seedling in Israel

As Yona sulks over God’s compassion to those he views as sinners, Hashem prepares for him a large plant, a kikayon (קיקיון), to provide Yona with shade. The identity of this plant has long fascinated commentators. According to some, it is the castor oil plant, which is common in Israel. This plant has large leaves and grows to a considerable height in a short amount of time, so that a sprout quickly attains the appearance of a small tree, much like Yona’s kikayon which appeared suddenly and provided him with ample shade. The scientific name of this plant is Ricinus Communis. In Egyptian, the plant is called kiki, which is similar to the Hebrew word used here: Kikayon.

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Jonah 4:6

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